You may designate a beneficiary or a successor annuitant. If you designate a beneficiary other than your spouse, the value of your registered retirement income fund (RRIF) will be added to your income for the year of your death and subjected to personal income taxes.
If your spouse is your designated beneficiary, then the lump sum value of your RRIF is passed to your spouse and retains its tax-deferred status. It may then be reinvested in another registered vehicle such as an RRSP (if your spouse is under age 69), annuity or RRIF.
The alternative, if you have a spouse, is to designate your spouse as the successor annuitant. When you die, the RRIF carries on as it was set up, but your spouse becomes the annuitant in your place. There are no new investment choices to make and the RRIF retains all rate guarantees. You can set up this option when the RRIF is set up.
Access your account
Find information about your group retirement, savings and income account.